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DURIC Darko
Sport Para swimming
NPC Slovenia   
GenderMen
Age30
Place of BirthMaribor, YUG
Height1.80 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S4, SB3, SM4
Further Personal Information
Residence
Podbrezje, SLO
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, Slovene
Higher education
Business Studies - Catholic Institute: Ljubljana, SLO
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming in 2007 in Radovljica, Slovenia.
Why this sport?
He was told he could be successful in the sport if he dedicated himself to it.
Club / Team
Radovljica Swimming Club: Slovenia
Name of coach
Boro Strumbelj [personal]; Emil Tahirovic [personal], SLO
Training Regime
He trains twice a day in the swimming pool and also at the gym.
Senior International Debut
Year
2008
Competing for
Slovenia
Location
Belgium
General Interest
Nicknames
Dare (paralympic.org, 24 Mar 2015)
Hobbies
Reading, watching films, going to concerts, travelling. (Facebook page, 21 Feb 2020; Athlete, 14 Aug 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the S4 100m freestyle at the 2013 World Championships in Montreal, QC, Canada, and competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 14 Aug 2018)
Most influential person in career
Coach Jana Cander, and his family. (Athlete, 14 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Slovenian Para swimmer and Para canoer Dejan Fabcic. (Athlete, 14 Aug 2018)
Injuries
In 2019 he sustained a shoulder injury. (govorise.metropolitan.si, 19 Oct 2019; siol.net, 11 Sep 2019)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"If I don't listen to music before I race, I don't feel good." (Athlete, 08 Feb 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Nothing can beat hard work and spirit. As long as you are able to stay motivated to give it everything, there will always be a chance for you to win. The biggest challenge will always be competing against yourself." (paralympic.org, 22 Dec 2014)
Awards and honours
He received a 2016 Special Merit award from his club Plavalni Klub Radovljica. (plavalniklub-radovljica.si, 01 Apr 2017)

In 2013 he was presented with the Bloudek Award, the most prestigious Slovenian national sports honour awarded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia. (mizs.gov.si, 2014)

He was named the 2013 Athlete with Impairment of the Year in Slovenia. (Facebook page, 09 Jul 2018)

He was named MMC TV's 2012 Sports Personality of Year in Slovenia. (rtvslo.si, 31 Dec 2012)
Other sports
He has represented Slovenia in sitting volleyball at youth level. (delo.si, 29 Dec 2019; Athlete, 08 Feb 2012)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Athlete, 16 Mar 2019)
Impairment
He was born without his left arm and both legs. (Athlete, 18 Sep 2016)
Other information
MOVE TO NETHERLANDS
In November 2017 he relocated to Amersfoort, Netherlands, for one year to train alongside the Dutch Para swimming team. "I didn't have bad training conditions in Slovenia, I got everything that I needed, the only thing I was missing was company. For me, this new chapter is very important. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to train with the Dutch Paralympic team for a year. This kind of opportunity comes along very rarely." (zurnal24.si, 31 Dec 2017)

EARLY LIFE
At age two he was adopted by the Debeljak family after his biological mother decided that she was not able to raise him. "My parents didn't leave me, they just gave me a second chance. I never had the feeling that I am not from the Debeljak family, they gave me a sense of belonging." (delo.si, 29 Dec 2019; rejniskodrustvoslovenije.si, 20 Nov 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
6 2012 50m Freestyle S4 40.21
5 2012 100m Freestyle S4 1:26.12
5 2012 50m Butterfly S5 40.48
4 2012 200m Freestyle S4 3:06.84
5 2016 100m Freestyle S4 1:27.17
8 2016 50m Butterfly S5 40.92 
4 2016 200m Freestyle S4 3:05.02 
4 2016 50m Freestyle S4 41.21
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
9 2010 50m Freestyle S4 46.05
7 2010 200m Freestyle S4 3:38.08
7 2010 100m Freestyle S4 1:41.75
6 2013 50m Freestyle S4 41.79
1 2013 50m Butterfly S4 41.42
1 2013 100m Freestyle S4 1:27.27
2 2013 200m Freestyle S4 3:11.32
6 2015 200m Freestyle S4 3:13.48
7 2015 50m Freestyle S4 42.46
7 2015 100m Freestyle S4 1:30.05
8 2015 50m Butterfly S5 43.04
7 2019 100m Freestyle S4 1:31.66
Heats 2019 50m Butterfly S5  DSQ
7 2019 50m Freestyle S4 42.40
European Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
5 2014 100m Freestyle S4 1:30.89
4 2014 50m Freestyle S4 42.12
6 2014 50m Butterfly S5 42.69
4 2014 200m Freestyle S4 3:12.93
2 2016 100m Freestyle S4 1:28.21
7 2016 50m Butterfly S5 42.48
3 2016 200m Freestyle S4 3:08.38
5 2016 50m Freestyle S4 41.66
1 2018 50m Freestyle S4 40.40
3 2018 200m Freestyle S4 3:13.86
9 2018 50m Butterfly S5 41.94